How to Negotiate Before Judgment?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by goofydawgy, Jul 22, 2001.

  1. goofydawgy

    goofydawgy New Member


    I have read the forums and have found great comfort in knowing that I am not the only person in the world who has ever been sued by a company for a sum of money owed. I am at my wits end and don't know what to do. Any input or direction would be greatly appreciated. Here's my story:

    A year ago during a 5 month period of unemployment, my car was repossessed by First Virginia Bank. They sold it, and sent me the difference for which I was responsible -- $6068. I have avoided paying this debt and to my detriment, have forgotten about it until 2 weeks ago when my former landlord mailed me the Court papers that were delivered to my former residence.

    I don't know much legalese, but here is my understand of that piece of paper:

    I am sued by First Virginia Bank for a sum of $6068, in the Civil court of Virginia. The court date is August 13th. (I now live in DC, don't have a car, and the court date is held in Richmond, Virginia--about 3 hours away).

    On the piece of paper, it also says that the complaint was filed by an employee of the company, and I am NOT required to be present, unless I wish to dispute the case. (In which case, I know a default judgment would most probably be issued against me.)

    I called First Virginia and pleaded with them to drop the suit against me in exchange for complete payment in a year. They refused me and said it is company policy that they will not withdraw after filing suit, and that it protects the company.

    I even told them that I would file bankruptcy if I had my wages garnished, and they didn't seem to care that if I did that, they wouldn't receive a dime. They said, they only want judgment, and that they will not garnish my wages if I made payments. I don't trust them, and don't want a judgment hanging above my head until I pay it all off.

    I don't know what to do now. The only weapon I had (bankruptcy) didn't seem to work with them and they don't want to drop the suit against me. I am terrified of having a judgment filed against me, because that means if I as much as default by ONE payment, First Virginia Bank CAN garnish my wages, and I CANNOT afford to have my employer aware of this.

    What should I do?? Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you know of any attorneys or agencies that can help me, please let me know. Thanks!
  2. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    You admitted you received the court papers, when they served you at another address? Is that right?

    You better hop on Amtrak, and show up in court and negotiate with them in front of a judge, or they will begin garnishing your paycheck, period. You can have someone represent you (not a lawyer), if you have someone in Richmond you can trust to show up and negotiate with their attorney.

    If you want a name of a lawyer in Richmond, I use Goodwin, Sutton and DuVal. They know the ropes about this stuff. Email me, and I will give you my real name - you can tell them I referred you. Of course they probably have enough clients that they don't know one from the other, LOL, but who knows. Let me know. If you want to email me, click on my name, it will take you there. If your going to hire them, don't spend all your money, you have to pay up front, $175 per hr.

  3. LKH

    LKH Well-Known Member

    To begin with, in most states, serving legal docs at an address where you do NOT live, is an invalid service. I would show up at the hearing and tell the judge exactly how you received the papers. He will throw out the service making them start all over to have you served again. Be advised that they may have someone at the courthouse able to serve you should this happen. If not, then they have to find you. Do not give them your address. This is only a stall tactic and will buy you a little time to try and figure out something. If it comes down to it, you may have to file bk.
  4. Ender

    Ender Well-Known Member

    YOu can also do something called change in venue to force them to change the court location so it is local to you.. this will incure more costs to them to have it moved as well.

    also, it is an extremely long process in this whole wage garnishment ordeal.. i would try and get squawk's attention to this, since he is an attorney that posts on this board.. he has posted in some time - perhaps post a msg attention to him. good luck with this...
  5. goofydawgy

    goofydawgy New Member

    Wow! You guys wrote back so quickly! Thanks for the referral. I'm going to write "squawk"a note and see if he'd be able to advice me. In the meantime, please keep the advice coming.
  6. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    In VA there are some circumstances where a deficiency balance for a reposessed vehicle cannot be collected.

  7. PuuOoPaul

    PuuOoPaul Well-Known Member

    I would have to agree with some of the others. The service does not sound legit. I wouldn't request for the case be transferred to your jurisdiction however. You want to avoid the lawsuit at all costs. I would call up the court house where the complaint was filed and tell them about the incomplete service. Further tell them you are unable to travel out of state to appear and ask them to site the specific statute that allows this bank to sue you outside of your resident state.

    As far as threatening to file bk it won't much help at this point. They are not receiving payments now and a bk is a promise to not pay in the future. They have nothing to lose at this point. As far as they're concerned you're going to pay them or you're going to pay an atty. Either way you will have to part with some money.

    Good luck,
  8. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member


    They can sue him in VA. We already went through that in another thread, LOL, about another debt.

    But he wasn't properly served, it's true, However, he admitted to them that he got the papers. He may not be able to get out of that.

    I don't know. It wouldn't hurt to call the clerk of court. The gal there is very nice, she has been there a long time, and she will help you out if she can.

  9. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    He could claim he was not served at all, but rather saw the announcement in a newspaper he takes.

    They are supposed to publish the judgement filing a certain number of times, so that would be a logical answer as to how he knew about the jusdgement being filed without his ever haing been served.
  10. sl1029

    sl1029 Well-Known Member

    I went through the judgement process in VA a few years ago....and while you may not be able to have the venue moved to DC you CAN have it moved to Arlington - where the courthouse is accessible by MEtro. (P.S. the trip to Richmond should be 3 hours roundritp - not just one way)

    Also, I observed in the courtroom that day that in most cases, if asked, the judge will grant time that day for plaintiff/defendant to confer in order to reach an agreement. The company's lawyer may have more latitude in settling this before judgement.

    Do what you can to avoid a judgment regardless of the threat of garnishment. It screws your CR for a long time....
  11. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    Judgements only screw up your credit if you let it happen.

    Judgements are usually filed and processed in a pretty sloppy way, often just being a rubber stamp process and often without the proper affidavits of service or publication or worse. Most judgements contain anywhere from 1 to 5 or more reverseable errors.

    Once reverseable errors are found in the original court documents, the judgement can be attacked simply by filing your own summary judgement against the creditor and the end result should be that the judgement is reversed.

    If a judgement is reversed for error, it is considered a void judgement and can never be reopened by the original plaintiff.

    You simply have to know what to look for and that isn't hard to find if you study the rules of civil procedure and be certain that all of the necessary documents and affidavits are present. If they are not, you have "probable cause" (so to speak) to file for a summary judgement of your own which will reverse the original.

    Just takes some study and work to get the mob done unless you want to hire an attorney, and they are going to want some big bucks to do what you can do for yourself.

    So while it's much better to fight or negotiate or whatever before the judgement is granted, they are not all that much to be afraid of.
  12. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    I actually agree with Bill here.

    I had an issue once where I was sued. I showed up and let them know they had the wrong name on the papers and on the summons.

    THe judge changed the name right there to me. ugh.

    If I were you, I'd talk w/an atty who specialized in credit issues. Call an atty who does collections for the bigger companies (normally they moonlight helping consumers as long as the company suing you isn't one of their companies).

    Find out what has to happen with a reposession. In some states they have to have x number of appraisal on the car (never happens) and then it's sold.

    You do have a case for failure of service... if you show with no evidence and no reason for the judge to rule differently, then showing in court will not help your case. You already know they won't work with you.

    Talk w/someone in your area about what would have to happen to get the judgment vacated (and the upside of this is this. once they file once against you they can't do it again).

    I have heard of repossessions that were done poorly resulting in the person getting back their car for free...

    anyway, this isn't my subject matter. Talk With an atty. the other source I'd refer you to is a guy who specializes in this.

    talk with him too before your court date. Good luck
  13. sl1029

    sl1029 Well-Known Member

    As someone w/ judgement experience in VA -

    I thought that since I couldn't pay right away, and the venue was inconvenient, I might just as well ignore it and live w/ the judgement. Well not only did that lead to a summary judgment, but I was also served with a summons for a another court date because I was a no-show at the first - with a threat of a bench warrant if I still didn't show.

    All this over $300 debt to Gold's Gym.

    I still say, go to court and make it clear to the judge that you are willing make substantial payments over time but that the bank has been unwilling to work with you. I witnessed several cases where the case was dismissed after the judge ordered the plaintiff and defendent to step outside and talk about a payment plan.
  14. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    Exactly! and the judges in that court (Richmond) are like that - reasonable - human even.

  15. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    That's John Gliha.

    John will tell you that since the finance company or the bank did not actually loan you anything of value, i.e. only made electronic entries in an account and deposited your mortgage in there, they defrauded you in the first place and you can sue them because they didn't actually loan you any money. Hence, since they didn't loan you any money, you don't owe them any money.

    If you believe that, I'd like to sell you some waterfront property in Arizona or maybe the hope diamond. Real cheap.

    On top of that, John's material is extremely expensive and in my personal opinion, from what I've seen of it, has nothing of any value whatsoever in it.

    I sure wish I could say something good about John's stuff, but I've listened to a bunch of his conference calls and recorded them, I've been on his website, I've paid my money for his stuff and I've talked to him personally on several occasions, and all I ever got was a run-around and a booklet full of all the postings off his discussion group that I could have read on line for free.

    You do what you want, that's just my experience with him.
    Maybe he picked me out as his special target, but I don't think so.
  16. PuuOoPaul

    PuuOoPaul Well-Known Member

    The laws in Virginia may be different but this is the first I am hearing that a suit cannot be reifled after the initial suit. Here in Hawaii we have done it on several occasions. The only time that the judge has filed a dismissal with cause (meaning you cant refile) is when the customer has paid on the spot and there would be no interest in filing again. The only other way you could get a dismissal with cause is by proving that the account is not yours or is fraudulent. Which is pretty hard to do considering that the plaintiff 9 times out of 10 will file a copy of your application as an exhibit.

    I wouldn't get to excited about the judge throwing your case out and not letting it be refiled.

  17. bbauer

    bbauer Banned


    Under the conditions that you outlined, I would not get excited either. What you say is exactly right.

    That's because you are thinking about a case currently before the court and before judgement has been granted the creditor. In that event you are exactly right.

    I'm not talking about that situation at all because unless you have solid evidence that the debt is not yours or other valid argument to place before the court, you haven't got a crying chance.

    I am talking about after the judgement has been granted and it's now supposed to be history. Then, after it's all over, all cut and dried, you go back and look at the court filings .
    Let us suppose that any one or more errors have been committted. Improper service of summons, failute to supply court with proper affidavits, failure to supply appraisals of the property (vehicles, real estate) Attorneys giving testimoney before the court or any one of a multitude of other possible errors that are not in compliance with rules of civil procedure or case law.

    In that event and after the judgement has been granted, perhaps even 5, 10 or more years after it's all said and done, these errors are discovered by defendant..Defendent goes back to court and files for summary judgement against original plaintiff demanding his due process rights and proves his case in a new hearing. Plaintiff cannot then go back and re-file the case.

    That's what I am talking about, not a current case being heard in present time.

    Perhaps you didn't understand the differnece? Didn't understand what kind of situation I was discussing.
  18. PuuOoPaul

    PuuOoPaul Well-Known Member


    Now I'm up to speed. I did read incorrectly. I don't know how easy they are to turn over though. We turn out judgments like a factory and never had one reneged. But never say never!

  19. godaddyo

    godaddyo Well-Known Member

    If you are so against the Ghila method, why were you listening to his phone calls? The first conference calls were last week. Also, what materials did you purchase from due process? If you purchased the advanced program, I believe there is a money back guarantee if you lose. Do you offer a money back guarantee if the consumer loses?
  20. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    I would not be against John's methods if he backed up his claims which seem so preposterous if he would simply back up his claims with some cites and judicial decisions in his favor. I guess my problem is that I have seen altogether too many fine people who thought they were following good advice go to jail, not because they did something wrong but because they relied on someone who was obviously well intentioned but took a snipet of the law and projected that into preposterous ideas and claims that had no basis in fact.

    Take the case of the Schweitzer brothers in Colorado. They got an idea much like John's. They believed that since the banks had loaned nothing but electronic money they could sue the creditor for fraud. Exactly as John says. Except they used just a slightly different twist. They claimed it was the U.S. Treasury department that was actually doing the defrauding by issueing Federal Reserve Notes instead of "real" money. As a result, all the farmers who had lost money due to bank foreclosures were due millions of dollars in damages each. And their kids and their parents and their grandparents too. All were going to get in on the new found gravy train. All they had to do was to pay the Schweitzers and their "agents" $300 filing fees and they were on the gravy train. Lots of people fell for that. They even set up an organization they called "We the People" to band them all together. I covered a weekend seminar they had in Witchita Kansas one time a few years back. They held a mock trial and many people presented "testimony" at the trial. At the end, the people's court "convicted" the U.S. Treasury Department of fraud. Darrel Freck of Jet,Oklahoma and Jerry Henson and his wife and his brother Joe of Oklahoma City all bought into the scheme. The Schweitzers and the Frecks and lots more good folks went down on that one. They are still doing time.

    Then there was the group up in Wisconson or somewhere up north that claimed basically the same thing. They claimed that since the banks did nothing but create money every time they issued a money order, they could start their own bank and issue their own money orders on the U.S. Treasury and use them to pay off the debts of whoever bought their money orders for $300 for a book of 500 blank money orders. People went out and bought tons of new stuff including expensive tractors, farms and more with those money orders, simply filling in whatever amount of money they needed to make the purchase. People believed them and went to jail for it for long terms. Jerry Henson printed their money orders for them and then accepted one for payment for his printing and then went out and cashed it. He's supposed to get out of Federal Prison in the next couple of years after serving 7 years. Then he will be on probation for a long time after that.

    The Freemen up in Idaho or Montana or wherever that fiasco took place went down for much the same reasons. They decided that judges and creditors and such were defrauding the people so when someone owed the bank they had been defrauded because no actual money changed hands. So they filed liens on the property of those who had defrauded them. No need for a court hearing on the matter. Just go file liens on them and then armed with the liens go write hot checks against the full value of the liens.

    Man, I have seen too many people go down advocating and doing the same things I see John advocating. Maybe not the same exact things, but very nearly to just buy into such schemes without some kind of proof such as court cases actually filed and won to buy into these grandoise theories.

    I haven't seen where John is doing anything illegal yet, but I haven't seen him do anything that is legally proveable either. You can't win an argument in court claiming the federal reserve notes are bogus or false or fraudulent. We are theoretically winning some cases against the Oklahoma Tax Commission based on the fact that the way Oklahoma Law reads, they can't prove what money is, but even that's only being won because you can't get the Tax Commission before a judge in a court of law and keep them there. Although we have run them so ragged that a standoff currently exists, we have not actually ever gotten a decision either, and we dont even have any hopes of ever getting them pinned down once and for all. Those same kinds of arguments have been used against the IRS for many years and the only outcome was a few years in jail.

    I'd be willing to pay almost any price for John's work if I could see even one glimmer of hope that I could stand rock solid in the law on and back up in a court of law using his ideas, but I haven't seen even a ray of hope yet.

    I bought one of his books, and all I got for $100.00 was a booklet full of postings from his yahoo group. So what would lead me to believe that if I spent the $700 or so he asks for his entire works that I'd get anything better?

    Do I offer a guarantee if my customer loses? I guess you haven't visited my website because if you had you would see what I guarantee right at the top.

    I don't want to even take a chance that somebody has a valid reason to bad mouth me. That don't mean that I can't be wrong because I can, but if you don't get positive results out of my teachings or my work, you get your money back. Period. Never mind losing, if you don't win, you get your money back. And I don't even want to hear any arguments. Just prove you didn't win after having followed my directions to their conclusion and that's all it takes.

    Now do you understand a bit better why I don't think John has much to offer? Why I don't want to take a chance on going to jail like so many others have who followed similiar advice? I am 71 years old. What would I do with 25 years in jail like most of the people who have followed looney tunes advice have gotten? I'd never live through it and even if I did, it would still be all over for me.

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